Diamond Clarity

Buying Tips

  • Most diamonds have tiny imperfections called inclusions.
  • The fewer and less visible the inclusions, the higher the clarity grade.
  • clarity is often the least important of the 4Cs because most inclusions are microscopic; they don’t affect the diamond’s beauty in a visible way.
  • To maximize your budget, consider an "Eye-Clean" diamond, graded VS1 or higher, in which inclusions are invisible to the naked eye.

The size of the impurities and imperfections determine the clarity grading of a diamond. Clarity grades run from Flawless (FL) to Slightly Included 2 (SI2). Try to pick a diamond where there are no inclusions visible upon close inspection with the naked eye (usually VS2 or higher).


Diamond Clarity Grade Chart

FL & IF

Flawless, Internally Flawless

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are not visible, rarest clarity grade

  • FL: No visible blemishes, <1% of diamonds
  • IF: Very slight blemishes, <3% of diamonds



VVS1, VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included

Characteristics miniscule and difficult to see under 10x magnification, even to a trained eye.

  • VVS1: Few miniscule inclusions  
  • VVS2: Slightly more miniscule inclusions




VS1, VS2

Very Slightly Included

Minor inclusions ranging from difficult to somewhat easy to see at 10x magnification.

  • VS1: Difficult to see minor inclusions
  • VS2: Somewhat easier to see minor inclusions


SI1, SI2

Slightly Included

Inclusions noticeable at 10x. Best value. SI2 inclusions may be detectable to a discerning unaided eye.

  • SI1: Inclusions occasionally visible to the keen eye without magnification
  • SI2: Inclusions typically visible from the pavilion, and often seen from the top, without magnification


I1

Included

Diamonds may have more obvious inclusions at 10X and may be visible to the eye. Hispek offers a limited selection of jewelry with I1 clarity diamonds.

  • I1: Loose diamonds of this grade not offered by Hispek

I2, I3

Clarity grades not carried by Hispek.

Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification, usually visible to the unaided eye.


More Expert Tips

Select an "eye-clean" diamond - one that has no imperfections visible to the unaided-eye through the crown. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) diamonds, which are extremely rare and command higher prices.

If you're considering a diamond with an SI clarity grade, call to speak to a diamond and jewelry consultant who will review the diamond to ensure the imperfections are not visible to the unaided eye.